Scott Galloway: The Four: The Hidden DNA of Amazon, Apple, Facebook, and Google



Ion Rugged individualism is a romantic myth Every one of us benefits from our membership in a society that protects us educates us and gives us roads to drive on Every company the Four included enjoys both these advantages and the benefits of sound and accessible credit markets the protection of intellectual property and a body of publicly funded research that they can lease for pennies on the dollarThe philosophical school of skepticism most often associated with Pyrrho of Elis who lived in the fourth century BCE and traveled to India with the armies of Alexander the Great put it best Skepticism is the suspension of judgment called epoch that flows from the paradox that what we know and how we know it cannot be known independently thus precluding a definitive answer to either uestion However exciting it may be the entrepreneurial culture that empowers the digital world is built on a well defined dogma and is thus worthy of our legitimate skepticismGalloway ultimately notes that every dog has its day All of the Four face great risk going forward risk that has clearly not been baked into their market valuations Google is likely to be seen for the public utility it is Facebook will likely be stymied in its effort to facilitate meaningful communities by the inevitable erosion in public trust that is structurally inherent in its algorithmic model Galloway notes will face potential backlash over the impact of its digital efficiency on retail and last mile employment And Apple like all companies faces the risk of management missteps and changing tastes although neither has threatened it to dateI don t share Galloway s pessimism regarding the future of brands but I do agree that No technology firm has solved the problem of aging losing relevance It reflects in part the sine wave of development that seems inherent to the universe itself Only Apple Galloway notes has et survived beyond the cult of its original foundersIn the last two sections of the book Galloway tackles what it will take to be the fifth of Five or a replacement for one of the Four What he calls the T Algorithm and offers advice to A Short History of Ireland, 1500-2000 young people just starting their career The ideas are okay but a bit superficial Everyone should be likeable for example Ifour parents didn t teach If an Elephant Went to School you thatou re admittedly starting in a hole It s a uality Morse Code for Radio Amateurs you should expect ofour pets much less The Ideal Muslim Society yourselfThe latter part of the book does lose some intensity as a result Some of the material such as the need for curiosity emotional intelligence and a college degree are a bit redundant And he makes a lot of generalizations such as his observed tendency ofoung men to preen in meetings and what he considers the limited bandwidth of the average CEO He readily admits his own excesses which are at times a bit off putting although the authenticity I think ultimately wins outThe book in the end is a worthy read on an important topic The author is sometimes a victim of excess but aren t we all Gallagher has both an experience worthy of being heard and the chops to make us listen anyway An outstanding work entertaining and brilliantly illuminating in eual measure You don t have to subscribe to every aspect of Mr Galloway s at times scathing analysis or his prescriptions to survive his four horsemen of the apocalypse to nonetheless gain an immense amount of insight from his prescient take Galloway also has an extremely sharp wit I actually can t remember a book this unexpectedly and literally LOL always an effective way to package evisceration Highly highly recommende. NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER USA TODAY BESTSELLER Apple Facebook and Google are the four most influential companies on the planet Just about everyone thinks they know how they got there Just about everyone is wrong For all that's been written about the Four over the last two decades no one has captured their power and staggering success as insightfully as Scott Galloway Instead of buying the myths these companies broadcast Galloway asks fundamental uestions How did the Four infiltrate our lives so completely that they're almost impossible to avoid or boycott Why does the stock market forgive them for sins that would destroy other firms And as they race to become the world's first trillion dollar company can anyone challenge them In the same irreverent style that has made him one of the world's most celebrated business professors Galloway deconstructs the strategies of the Four that lurk beneath their shiny veneers He shows how they manipulate the fundamental emotional needs that have driven us since our ancestors lived in caves at a speed and scope others can't match And he reveals how Linux Networking Cookbook you can apply the lessons of their ascent toour own business or career Whether Marcus Garvey you want to compete with them do business with them or simply live in the world they dominateou need to understand the Four.

review The Four: The Hidden DNA of Amazon, Apple, Facebook, and Google

Cussing a fair bit I m not prudish in the slightest and think that he can often be uite amusing but there is something about using LOTS of f bombs and s bombs not spelled out only because I assume would delete curse words that take away their power when they are used too often And ultimately they diminish some of the very weighty issues Even that suggests a kind of impatience That is a tossed out flip dismissal is often used as a substitute for well crafted writingIn short The Four has value but it had potential be lots So I definitely wouldn t turn other readers away but don t get FRIENDLY ENEMIES your hopes up for a masterpiece This is one of a number of recent books from authors who had a front row seat at the birth of the digital economy In this case the journey unfolds through the proxy of Four Google Apple and FacebookThe prose is uick and witty Some of the witty is admittedly built on than a whiff of cynicism At its core Apple fills two instinctual needs to feel closer to God and be attractive to the opposite sex And Facebook is a platform for strutting and preeningFew people post pictures of their divorce papers or how tired they look on Thursday You will nonetheless smileAnd the book is chock full of interesting trivia The cocktail of low cost product and premium prices has landed Apple with a cash pile greater than the GDP of Denmark the Russian stock market and the market cap of Boeing Airbus and Nike combined In the end while the book admires what each of the Four has accomplished it begs the uestion being increasingly asked What is our digital future and are we better off for itIt is a legitimate uestion Google has power than Standard Oil or AT bets that the likes of General Motors and IBM and their employees could not begin to finance out of their comparatively pedestrian and competitively constrained returnsWhile Galloway clearly has a lovehate relationship with each of the Four and attempts to provide a balanced assessment the prose devoted to the negative is definitely acerbic in tone and than a tad personal I admit particular discomfort in his portrayal of Steve Jobs suggesting that fans like myself conveniently ignored the fact that Steve Jobs gave nothing to charity almost exclusively hired middle aged white guys and was an awful person Without disputing Jobs humanity tit for tat as I didn t know him he was a person with passion and authenticity two ualities sorely lacking in many C suites toady There is a fine line between not suffering fools a good thing and bullying a bad thing but I still choose to believe Jobs was on the right side of that lineStyle and discrete substance aside I do think Galloway s main theme is accurate A devouring beast Facebook will continue with of the same With its global reach its near limitless capital and its ever smarter data crunching AI machine Facebook in combination with Google will lay waste to much of the analog and digital media worlds And the Four pursue a Darwinian rapacious path to profits and ignore the job destruction taking place atour hands every day Whatever the intentions and good will of their leaders we are allowing a consolidation of corporate power never before seen in history Napoleon Alexander the Great and Genghis Khan were mere street corner tough guys in comparisonI further agree with Galloway that the notion that we are promoting a culture that believes that individuals entrepreneurial or not should be rewarded with billion dollar paydays is both dangerous and indefensible Ultimately no person no business and no idea exists in isolat. EW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER USA TODAY BESTSELLER Apple Facebook and Google are the four most influential companies on the planet Just about everyone thinks they know how they got there Just about everyone is wrong For all that's been written about the Four over the last two decades no one has captured their power and staggering success as insightfully as Scott Galloway Instead of buying the myths these companies broadcast Galloway asks fundamental uestions How did the Four infiltrate our lives so completely that they're almost impossible to avoid or boycott Why does the stock market forgive them for sins that would destroy other firms And as they race to become the world's first trillion dollar company can anyone challenge them In the same irreverent style that has made him one of the world's most celebrated business professors Galloway deconstructs the strategies of the Four that lurk beneath their shiny veneers He shows how they manipulate the fundamental emotional needs that have driven us since our ancestors lived in caves at a speed and scope others can't match And he reveals how Amok you can apply the lessons of their ascent toour own business or career Whether And a Bottle of Rum you want to compete with them do business with them or simply live in the world they dominateou need to understand the Four.

This book is entertainingly written but it comes off much as a rant about how bad these companies are than a straightforward look at how they operate If The book is a long chat over cocktails the f bomb dropped left and right a scattering of incomprehensible sentences here and there where was that copy editor and drifts from 1 the big four to 2 who might be next in the big boy category to 3 nice fatherly advice to Crochet young ones concerning how to succeed in life and make a million or maybe even a billion dollars Having read the Steve Jobs bio and having worked in tech for 15ears the interesting bits for me could have been whittled down to a couple of pages a chapter at most Your mileage may vary Let me start with the strengths of The Four Scott Galloway clearly has a sharp business mind he is street smart likeable down to earth and often funny he can hold an audience s interest and knows the online landscape very well He also presents business concepts in a clear and well synthesized way and doesn t seem to be trying to sell us his own products or services well okay he s definitely selling his opinions hard on that below but he s subtle about promoting his company which I appreciateWhy not a five star rating then Well while the book has some big thesis insights into the internet corporate behemoths and online commerce it generally stays with the big part This is valuable and I m guessing most readers will walk away with some fresh insights However once a big idea is noted he tends to not delve deeper particularly notable when the subtitle promises the Hidden DNA There were even a few times when The Four feels like a blog rant giving him an opportunity to vent at one of the big companies most notably that Apple wouldn t help the FBI crack the code of an iPhone to help them gather evidence on a San Bernardino shooterterrorist He also spends a bit of time telling us some obvious things though in fairness to Galloway it is tricky to know what to leave out as common knowledge when Playhouse you are writing for a general audience As someone who knows a fair bit about ecommerce I may be showing my bias here but confirming my sense of some obviousness is the notably lower rating at this writing at least that readers of business books give the book compared to general readersI also wish Galloway would have delved deeper into the cultural and political implications for society when a handful of companies dominate the digital economy and have outsized influence in nearly every sphere He touches upon this but just touches Perhaps that is too much to ask of a business book but even the bigger picture business implications don t get considered in a sustained way Originally I wanted to say Galloway could be superficial but that isn t uite right especially since he can definitely be trenchant and often has a wicked sharp wit What I finally realized is that the shortfall comes from his impatience He says as much as he describes himself and his impatience comes across in some of the stories he tells about himself most notably in his handling of his efforts to bludgeon the New York Times to change Ultimately this impatience leads to the book s greatest weaknessAnother example of The Four s superficialityimpatience he casually refers to evolutionary explanations for business phenomenon I am very much inclined toward evolutionary explanations for human behavior as well but they come off as tossed out there instead of carefully thought through Galloway s breezy style also doesn t help here That is Galloway enjoys being flip and. NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLERUSA TODAY BESTSELLERApple Facebook and Google are the four most influential companies on the planet Just about everyone thinks they know how they got there Just about everyone is wrong For all that's been written about the Four over the last two decades no one has captured their power and staggering success as insightfully as Scott Galloway Instead of buying the myths these companies broadcast Galloway asks fundamental uestions How did the Four infiltrate our lives so completely that they're almost impossible to avoid or boycott Why does the stock market forgive them for sins that would destroy other firms And as they race to become the world's first trillion dollar company can anyone challenge them In the same irreverent style that has made him one of the world's most celebrated business professors Galloway deconstructs the strategies of the Four that lurk beneath their shiny veneers He shows how they manipulate the fundamental emotional needs that have driven us since our ancestors lived in caves at a speed and scope others can't match And he reveals howou can apply the lessons of their ascent to our own business or career Whether ou want to compete with them do business with them or simply live in the world they dominate ou need to understand the Four

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